Let’s get straight to the point. – The number one priority of any Ecommerce website is to generate sales. And the biggest hurdle in achieving that is the shopping cart abandonment rate.
Shopping cart abandonment simply means visitors leaving your online store without making any purchase. And right now, 69.89 percent of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts, according to Baymard Institute’s calculations from 34 studies on e-commerce cart abandonment.
While of course there is nothing much you can do about visitors leaving your website for the reasons out of your control – reasons like not interested in your products or not ready to buy yet, but what about the visitors who are ready to buy? – why are they leaving?
Short answer – Bad UX.
Bad UX makes visitors abandon your Ecommerce website.
Though some visitors might put up with a lot if you’re selling really unique products, but if your competitors are selling same or comparable products and offering an easier way to buy, then it is obvious whom the average buyer is going to buy from.
Moreover, there are now many Ecommerce websites in crowded online space that look similar, sell similar or same products, and also offer the same payment & shipping options.
That means, online shoppers have more options than ever before, increasing their expectations higher. In fact, they now even conduct an extensive research before making a final decision, and if they encounter a smallest obstacle, they’ll just simply leave and go somewhere else.
So, what’s the solution for this?
Well, it’s fairly simple actually. – Observe users, ask them what they want or how they feel when browsing products on your website, and provide them with a better experience according to their feedback.
Remember, only those who understand the behaviors and preferences of their visitors and improve will succeed.
Peter Kriss, a Senior Research Scientist at Medallia and the Director of Research for Vision Prize, also shared in his Harvard Business Review article that not only better user experience results into better outcomes, but the value of UX is rather large.
For instance, a customer who had a great experience spent 140 percent more than those who had faced obstacles during buying process or had worst user experience.
Kriss’s study clearly proves that as User Experience improved, the revenues also increased along with it. Although, improving User Experience requires investments into your overall Ecommerce website, branding, and customer support. But, as you improve each of these metrics, you’ll definitely see the results.
Now, you may ask, how much can we earn if we improve User Experience of our Ecommerce website?
Better yet, how should we decide a UX budget if we can’t predict the exact value of it?
Well, you can.
Measuring the Value of UX
We saw that investing in User Experience definitely gives positive results. But what are the exact outcomes of it? Can we measure the return of UX investments?
Yes, we can!
But, before we try to understand how to measure the value of UX, let us remind ourselves of the UX definition first.
“User Experience or the UX basically compasses all the details of end-users’ interaction with the brand, its products, and its services.” – Don Norman
Like the definition indicates, ‘UX’ is a broad term, which is why it is hard to measure its value without going deep.
But, if we talk specifically about the value of UX in Ecommerce website development, we must not overlook the aspects best illustrated by Aarron Walter’s hierarchy of users’ needs.
As you can see, investing in User Experience mostly affects the top of pyramid. That means, improving User Experience will offer a much better pleasurable experience and more usable store. But, since we’re going deep, we need to first identify which metrics of User Experience efforts exactly affect.
Therefore, let’s start by understanding how UX designers work.
So firstly, most UX designers spend considerable amount of time on the research. It helps to find out about the visitors, their behaviors, how they navigate through existing system, where they face problems, and how they feel when interacting with the products.
The main reason to conduct this research is because sometimes what you think is intuitive might actually not work for your visitors, which is why research and survey with actual users is must for the success of your design.
This analysis & research phase mainly includes user surveys, user journeys, prototypes, wireframes, creating personas, and user testing.
Once the research phase is done, UX designers move forward to the definition stage where they define an idea based on the findings from the research phase and create a clear brief.
After definition stage, the UX designers start the most important task – the actual design. This is where the concepts are being created based on ideas, and then tested and iterated as required. This phase helps designers to improve the overall store experience with trial & error approach.
As a result, it helps to greatly improve the metrics such as drop off rate, conversion rate, and support cost per user. And all of these metrics can be easily measured.
In addition, these changes also affect other metrics like customer satisfaction, joy, and delight. Though those are not as easy to quantify, but they still matter a lot.
Investing in User Experience does have quantifiable benefits for ecommerce stores. And it is rather recommended to hire an Ecommerce development company and invest in UX than losing money due to bad UX and poor usability.